Friday, April 17, 2009

Leave Your Comfort Zone

To be great in selling, you must have a willingness to leave your comfort zone. For a lot of people, every day spent reaching out to strangers is a struggle - but it has to be done. Sales trainer Tom Black believes you can't be a great salesperson without reaching outside your comfort zone. Here's his take on the constant struggle to gain confidence in sales.

Sometimes it's in the approach. You just hate to make a cold call, knock on a door, or pick up the phone and call someone you don't know.

Sometimes it's in the set-up. You just hate to ask the prospects questions about their business, their children, or whatever.

Sometimes it's when you close. You just hate to bring the prospect to a point of decision.

Sometimes it's in the follow-up. You just hate to hear another objection or stall.

Sometimes it's when you ask for money or payment. You say: "Can't we just send them a bill?"

Maybe it's all of these, but whatever it is that's uncomfortable, to be great you must overcome it

For me, it's the close. When I was selling books for the Southwestern Company, laundry day would come, and I'd be surprised each week at how fast the toes of my socks were wearing out. I thought it was the brand of socks I was buying, and then it dawned on me - I dug my toes into my shoes every time I closed.

That's how I dealt with the uncomfortable feeling of asking a prospect to buy. Get your own trick that gets you through it, but get through it and stop making excuses. Great pro baseball players swing a bat the way a coach taught them, not like they would naturally. They left their comfort zones. Part of your attitude must be that you are willing to be emotionally uncomfortable in order to perform at the highest level.

Based in Nashville, Tenn., The Tom Black Center for Selling offers customized sales training services to national clients of all sizes in a wide range of fields. Areas of specialization include basic sales skills, key account strategies, sales management training and keynote speeches. Learn more at

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